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To suspect this man might be a paedophile?

(324 Posts)
user1495362060 Sat 02-Dec-17 22:05:00

We have a playground in our neighborhood and usually on the weekends children play together while parents chat (there is sometimes a farmers market nearby). We just moved in half a year ago and have been coming regularly. There is kind of hippie laid back atmosphere there. One person however aroused my suspicion recently.

This man in his 40s frequently comes to play with the kids. He doesn’t have kids himself. He spends most of his time playing with them (catch, hide and seek - not really many places to hide there, mostly the kids are in our sight). He doesn’t chat a lot with other parents. Basically we would be there chatting and he would be running with our kids. The kids really like him. The parents seem to know him well and don’t mind him doing that.

I just recently learned he doesn’t actually have a child there after talking to him. He didn’t strike me as odd in any other way except this fact that he comes specifically to spend time with our kids despite not having his own.

I don’t necessarily want to raise this subject with other parents there, but this is supposed to be a red flag, right? I don’t understand really why they are so chill about this. Perhaps there is other explanation to why he is doing that. Would you be suspicious in this situation? I feel like I possibly shouldn’t let dc come there anymore, which is a pity because we all enjoy it.

ghostyslovesheets Sat 02-Dec-17 22:06:10

red flag? playing with children in full view of their parents?

stella23 Sat 02-Dec-17 22:11:49

Yes I think it's strange, it's doesnt mean he's a paedophile, however I wouldn't feel confortable with it. I would be concerned about grooming.

LookingForwardToChristmas Sat 02-Dec-17 22:12:44

Are you always so suspicious?

The other parents know him well. Do you have any friends at all who don’t have children but interact and play with yours when you meet up? If you don’t, then you are in the minority. If you do, do you suspect them of being a paedophile? Do you now see how unreasonable you are being?

Mumof56 Sat 02-Dec-17 22:13:30

Have you reported him to the police?

Iloveanimals Sat 02-Dec-17 22:13:31

I wouldn't like it but doesn't mean he's a bad person.

Addictedtothisbloodyforum Sat 02-Dec-17 22:14:13

He could be perfectly innocent

ICanNeverThinkOfAGoodUsrname Sat 02-Dec-17 22:14:52

I'm sorry but YABU.

If this was a woman would you be saying the same thing? Some people get (innocent) joy from the happiness of children and if they haven't had their own for whatever reason then I wouldn't want to begrudge them of that.

The children are in sight of their parents, who I resume are watching over them anyway, I really don't see an issue.

RoxanneMonke Sat 02-Dec-17 22:15:27

I think it’s weird and I would be watching him like a hawk.

AfunaMbatata Sat 02-Dec-17 22:16:21

Ask the parents about him. It would raise my suspicions but I suppose it could be innocent. I’d tell my kid not to play with him though.

AfunaMbatata Sat 02-Dec-17 22:17:14

And yeah, if it was a random woman coming regularly to the park I’d feel the same way, it’s odd!

stella23 Sat 02-Dec-17 22:17:21

If this was a woman would you be saying the same thing? if it's a woman she is statically less likely to be a paedophile, so therefore it would be less if a concern.

Ellisandra Sat 02-Dec-17 22:17:34

Well, I have friends without children who are beautifully engaged with children and lots of fun when they are with them - for example at group BBQs.

None of those friends hang out in children's playgrounds though!

It would certainly have me wary.

Pandapenguin Sat 02-Dec-17 22:18:50

Why don’t you just ask him? Or speak to him? I wouldn’t just stand there gawping at someone playing with my child if i was uncomfortable. I would ask him how come he comes to play in the park with children. Genuinely. And yep i would find it a bit weird but he might be harmless. Would go on my gut instinct to be honest.

user1495362060 Sat 02-Dec-17 22:20:18

No, I don’t consider myself to be a particularly suspicious person. I do have friends who play with my kids because they are MY friends mostly, I suspect. They don’t come to a playground to play with the kids of people they don’t know and are not particularly interested in talking to for a whole hour. Do you see a difference?

MissBax Sat 02-Dec-17 22:20:39

YANBU, that is weird. I don't know about pedophile, but it's definitely not usual behaviour. There could be an innocent reason though, I'd probably speak to the other parents first.

Mrsknackered Sat 02-Dec-17 22:21:33

I do think it's a bit weird. However, when I was younger I attended a children's group that a grown adult male used to volunteer at, he played very child like games with us.
Some parents weren't happy about it. He was on the autistic spectrum, and had actually lost a sibling when he was very young. I suppose it took him back to a happy place. Without sounding cruel, even from a young age I found it very obvious that he was of a lower mental age, and that he was more comfortable with the children than adults. He was lovely and I still think of him 20 years on.
Could this perhaps be the case here?

Council Sat 02-Dec-17 22:22:02

It is really weird that a man (or woman) would regularly turn up to pay with other people's kids and put so much energy into it. Its also really sad that it's so odd.

Although in this world where anything "odd" is so scary I'd be amazed if other parents haven't already discussed what is to be done, have you spoken to any of them?

Mrsknackered Sat 02-Dec-17 22:22:30

That being said, I would perhaps gently say it to another parent and closely keep watch.

colouringinagain Sat 02-Dec-17 22:22:52

Sounds a bit weird to me too OP

Filzma Sat 02-Dec-17 22:23:12

YABU. Let's say he was one, then he's managed to lower the guards of all those children. If they every see him elsewhere, they'd be quick to warm up to him.

Tbh I avoid going to the park alone. I'm always weary of anyone without a DC/pet/friend etc.

I would 'casually' bring it up with one parent that you've gotten close with- not the whole group. Ask if they were ever concerned about his story. If they judge you for it, then too bad. Move your DC to another park. Not worth it!

Filzma Sat 02-Dec-17 22:24:13

Sorry I meant YANBU

RubaDubMum89 Sat 02-Dec-17 22:24:47

There's a chance he's innocent with no sinister motives.

There's also a chance that he's gaining the children's / parents trust, playing a long game and waiting for the opportune moment.

A bloke with no kids, regularly showing up at a kids play ground to play with children and have minimal contact with the parents would freak me right out.


anothernetter Sat 02-Dec-17 22:26:10

YADNBU that is very weird. Given the number of stories in the news about child abuse from high profile abusers I have come to the sad conclusion that there are a lot more of these weirdos out there than I ever could have imagined. Some more brazen than others. I would always ere on the side of caution. It's horrid but it's an unfortunate reality sad

Pandapenguin Sat 02-Dec-17 22:26:20

I’m kind of gobsmacked that people would tiptoe around this so much. Why does it have to be a hush hush thing asking parents when he is out there plain as day playing with children he has no connection with whatsoever. OP could you not just say hi and ask him which child he knows? And when he says none see what else / what explanation he has.

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